Just moments ago Usenix has published their "Call for Participation" for the Usenix LISA 2010 conference. This is a conference that I attend every year because the value I get out of it is undeniable. The speakers are excellent and the topics make me feel like I have access to a crystal ball that lets me see into the future.
The CfP gives a more detailed explanation of the conference and the kinds of talks, papers, and presentations that they are looking for. This is a community conference; talks come from people in the community, not "top down" vendor presentations.
This year adds a new "Practice and Experience" section where people can give a 20 minute talk where people can explain "substantial system administration project that has been completed." Sounds like a great way to learn from other people's mistakes [After I typed that I thought people might think I was kidding or being cynical. Actually, hearing what speedbumps to watch out is pretty darn important!.]
Usenix LISA is unique in that they have a track of refereed papers. These high-quality papers are where some of the biggest system administration innovations have first been published. This year the committee is not requiring full papers, but instead requests 500-1500 word summary. If your paper is accepted you will be expected to produce the entire paper in time for publication. This lowers the barrier to entry and I hope to see a big increase in paper submissions this year (I'm on the panel that votes on papers). If you have done something fantastic, invented a new technique, or written new software that improves the state of the art for system administration, please submit! (Private email to me is fine if you want to ask for advice). Details about submitting papers is here.
Whether you are planning on submitting a proposal or not, reading the full CfP is a great way to understand how a conference like LISA works. When you are presenting or not, I hope to see you there!
Read the entire call for participation here: http://www.usenix.org/events/lisa10/cfp/